Against Harmony: Infinite Idealizations and Causal Explanation

In Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 313,. pp. 291-301 (2015)
Abstract
This paper discusses the idea that some of the causal factors that are responsible for the production of a natural phenomenon are explanatorily irrelevant and, thus, may be omitted or distorted. It argues against Craig Callender’s suggestion that the standard explanation of phase transitions in statistical mechanics may be considered a causal explanation, in Michael Strevens’ sense, as a distortion that can nevertheless successfully represent causal relations.
Keywords optimized models  causal explanation  infinite idealizations  phase transitions
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